Crieff – a guide for visiting this Perthshire town in 2023


Crieff is by no means a massive place, but it is Perthshire’s second biggest town, and there is plenty to see and do here. You'll always find a real buzz in town, with lots of shops, hotels, cafés, pubs, and restaurants to try.

But we think it's the outdoor enthusiasts who will really love a visit to Crieff - the surrounding countryside is stunning, and there is so much to explore. And of course, golfers love it here too.

We thought it would be useful to round up the best things you can do in Crieff for 2023. Let's get into it:

Where is Crieff?

We'll start by specifying where Crieff is - located in Perthshire, the town is about 18 miles to the west of Perth and 60 miles north of Edinburgh. It's technically situated on the southern edge of the Scottish Highlands, and is a great location to start if you're looking to explore this part of Scotland. The town has excellent road connections to Perth, Stirling, and Glasgow, and is also well-served by public transport, with regular buses and trains running to and from the town.

What is there to see and do in Crieff?

As we mentioned in our introduction, despite the relatively small size of the town, you've got quite a lot to see and do in and around Crieff. Here are some of the highlights:

Drummond Castle Gardens

If there is one location to visit during your time in Crieff, we'd say this is it. Drummond Castle Gardens is magnificent and is considered one of the finest formal gardens in Europe. It's a five-star attraction and all ages will love exploring the space. Designed in the early 17th century, the area features a unique mix of Italian and French-style gardens with a Scottish twist. The hillside setting is stunning and allows visitors to enjoy stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Keep an eye out for the highlights here including a sundial garden, a topiary walk, and an ornamental lake. It's just a 5 minute drive from the centre of town, learn more here -

Glen's Adventure Park at Crieff Hydro

We could easily have recommended a visit to Crieff Hydro during your time in the town, but there is one specific part of the hotel that we think is especially worth visiting, and that's Glen's Adventure Park. this outdoor adventure park offers a range of activities for all ages, including a high-ropes course, a climbing wall, a zip line, a bungee trampoline, and a mini-golf course. The park also has a large play area for younger children, with swings, slides, and a sandpit. As you can see from the image, it's quite an incredible structure, and the reaction from kids when they see this is often amazing - it'll blow their minds.  A pass is £11.50, learn more here -

MacRosty Park

This beautiful park in the heart of Crieff is definitely worth a visit if you're looking for a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the town. Here you'll find lovely green lawns, a tranquil river, and plenty of benches for relaxing. There are also various paths for walking and cycling if you fancy a stroll, as well as a nice playground for children. The park is really well-maintained and includes an impressive array of trees, shrubs, and flowers. If you've got a dog or kids with you and you're looking for somewhere to take them that isn't far from the centre, MacRosty Park is ideal.
The Victorian-era bandstand (pictured) is also very interesting to look at and as you can see, very photogenic too. (2)

Follow a walking route

As you can probably tell by the imagery we've included in this guide, Crieff is surrounded by stunning countryside and there are many excellent walking routes for visitors to enjoy. One of the most popular walks is the Lady Mary's Walk, a gentle riverside walk that takes visitors along the banks of the River Earn to the impressive Drummond Castle Gardens. Another great option is the Knock of Crieff walk, which takes visitors up to the summit of Knock Hill for stunning views of the town and the surrounding countryside. For a longer walk, visitors can follow the Crieff to Comrie circular walk, which takes in picturesque villages, forests, and open moorland. Overall, Crieff offers many great walking routes that allow visitors to explore the beauty of the Scottish countryside. Whichever route you decide to follow, please dress appropriately and plan for the worst to happen (rain, an accident etc.). Learn more about these walking routes here -

The Strathearn Gallery

So far we've mentioned a number of outdoor locations to visit, and there is no denying that Crieff is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. But locations like The Strathearn Gallery demonstrate that Crieff is also excellent for culture vultures who want to enjoy activities that don't require walking boots.
This independent gallery showcases a diverse range of contemporary art and craft, including paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and jewelry, created by both established and emerging artists from Scotland and beyond. You'll find regular exhibitions and events hosted here, and the staff members are always friendly here and happy to explain any pieces to you if you need them.  Learn more here -

The Glenturret Distillery

It wouldn't be a proper Scottish town without something whisky related, and The Glenturret Distillery fulfills that role beautifully. This is the oldest working distillery in Scotland and is definitely worth a visit for anyone interested in the history (and the taste) of Scottish whisky. You can follow a guided tour that takes you through the entire whisky-making process, from malting to maturation, with plenty of opportunities to sample the whisky along the way, of course. The excellent whisky bar allows visitors to sample a range of Glenturret whiskies, as well as other lovely Scottish whiskies. Even if you're not a whisky lover, exploring the building itself is really fascinating and we think well worth your time. Learn more here -

Crieff Visitor Centre

The Crieff Visitor Centre is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the history and culture of Crieff. The centre provides a fascinating insight into the town's past, with exhibits and displays covering everything from the local wool trade to the Victorian spa era. Visitors can also enjoy a range of interactive exhibits, including a virtual reality tour of the town's historic sites. The gift shop is full of locally made products and souvenirs which are ideal to take home with you, plus they help to support the local community. Learn more here -

Spot the salmon at Buchanty Spout

If you've got the time to spare, a short trip to Buchanty Spout to the North of Crieff is highly recommended. This small waterfall and series of rapids on the River Almond is lovely to visit, but the real highlight is having the chance to spot salmon leaping, which is quite amazing to see. For the best chances of spotting a leaping salmon, you should try to visit after rain or in late summer/autumn. But this raises an important point - it can get really slippy here, so dress appropriately and be really careful when walking in this area.
You'll find Buchanty Spout just off the B8063 at Buchanty.

Explore the high street

We mentioned in our intro that Crieff is full of great places to eat and shop, and we weren't kidding. You'll find great local food shops like Fish in Crieff, Campbell’s Bakery, and the unmissable Gordon and Durward’s sweetie shop (which has been open since 1925). J.L. Gill’s has been open for more than 100 years and is a great place to pick up a tipple. If you want to stay in town for a drink or a bite to eat, The Square Bar and Kitchen is perfect for a cocktail and light bite, and for something a bit more substantial you can check out both Delivino (nice Italian) and Craobh. Lastly, it wouldn't be a Scottish town without a great Indian, and we think The Gurkha's fits that description perfectly.

Explore the markets

The high street and town centre of Crieff is great for shopping, but if you can time your visit to the town to coincide with one of the regular Crieff markets then we'd highly recommend you do. The Crieff Markets are held in James Square on the 2nd Saturday of June, August, and September, and you'll find a range of local businesses and businesses from further afield with stalls. It's great for food such as jams and organic meats, but you'll also find lots of handmade items such as clothes and jewellery.

Attend the Highland Gathering

The Crieff Highland Gathering attracts visitors from all over the world, and if you get the chance to visit Crieff when this event is on then we highly recommend you do so. Typically held annually on the second Sunday of August, the event showcases a range of traditional Highland games, including caber tossing and tug of war, as well as dancing, music, and food. With a festive atmosphere and stunning Scottish scenery, it's a must-visit for those seeking a true taste of Scottish culture. It's always based in the centre of Crieff at the iconic Market Park, and the whole town comes to life when the Highland Gathering is on. You can buy tickets for the event via the website, learn more here -

If you want to get a train to Crieff - head to Perth

Crieff doesn't have a train station, but Perth does. If you want to take a train from Crieff to another major Scottish city, your best bet is probably to head to Perth. While you're in Perth, it's a great city to explore with plenty to see, so we'd recommend exploring the centre. It's just over half a mile away from the centre of Perth to the train station or vice versa, but it's very walkable. Here is the best route to follow if you're starting from the train station in Perth and you want to reach the centre:

From Leonard Street, head North and bear right onto Hospital Street. Walk around 150m until you reach the pedestrian crossing. After 15m turn left onto South Street, heading North. Walk 250m then turn left onto King Edward Street.
Walk another 150m then continue straight onto the alleyway. After another 100m turn right and you're onto Mill Street, the centre of Perth. To reach the train station from the centre of town, it's this route in reverse.

FireShot Capture 052 - Mill St, Perth to Perth, Leonard St, Perth PH2 8RT - Google Maps_ -
Hopefully, this guide has inspired you to visit this brilliant town. If you're interested in visiting other Scottish towns like Crieff, check out our guides to Inveraray, Melrose, Crail, and St Andrews.

Finn is the editor of You Well and has been writing about travel, health, and more for over 10 years.

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